It’s very easy to think that writing for a successful blog is easy and getting people to share your content is just a natural by-product of this – it’s not. In this post, I want to address the number one question I get asked, “how do I write for a successful blog and get thousands of shares?”
There is no great secret to getting involved with any successful website or blog, but there are a few things you should know before which I will address for you in this article. Before you begin pursuing this goal, you need to make sure you clearly know why you want to be a blogger first.
If you don’t address your why, then you will find that you won’t be able to achieve any of what I am going to talk about.
My journey to writing for a successful blog started when I realised that I wanted to inspire people through what I was passionate about. Initially, I had no idea how to do this. Through a series of thinking sessions, I realised that the most important thing for me was to be involved in a website that stood for exactly what I believed in.
Once I understood this concept, writing for Addicted2Success was a no-brainer, and I didn’t have to think twice about any other website. What this site stands for is my life in three words – Addicted 2 Success. I am obsessed with what it takes to be successful and ultimately how to find my purpose and fulfill it.
So I am going to share with you the ten things I did to write for a successful blog and ultimately achieve thousands of shares.
1. Find your tribe
Before beginning to write for any blog you need to find your tribe and niche first. With a bit of luck, you will already be part of some sort of online tribe through your hobby or passion. These tribes are the best one’s to write for.
At this stage, forget about whether the niche you want to write for is popular or not. You can make any niche popular, and this had been proven online so many times over the years. I saw one tribe of people the other day that is obsessed with chickens, and they have thousands of people engaged – anything is possible.
2. Publish some posts on a lesser-known site first
Once you work out which site you want to write for, I suggest writing for some lesser-known sites within the same niche first. Many of the popular sites I have found will want to know how big your current audience is and see some posts you have done before.
If you can’t demonstrate these two things, then the popular sites are unlikely to let you write for them. In my own case I was able to leap frog this requirement but generally speaking, you should start this way.
3. Nail your personal story (you will be repeating it a lot)
As you go through your journey of blogging, you will be required in your writing (and interviews later on) to be able to articulate your personal story and explain why you do what you do.
“Everything you write will probably have some element of your personal story, so it’s important to agree on what that story is”
My story is all about entrepreneurship and personal development, and there are a thousand different ways to communicate these two topics which are closely related to each other. The other crucial reason to know your story is to be able to tell people what you stand for and give them the opportunity to read someone else’s work if what you are about is not for them.
I found that as my writing has progressed, I have been asked more and more to attend events, do interviews, and write for other websites. When you do these things a lot you are constantly in front of new audiences who don’t know your story.
There is also an expectation that when you get to this level later on, that you know your personal story back to front and are able to make it compelling and engaging for the audience. So the bottom line is agree on how you want to say your story and then write it down.
4. Write professionally
There is nothing worse than when an editor of a blog get’s a proposed article, and it doesn’t have proper English or has loads of spelling and grammar errors. Writing professionally is extremely important, and if your skills are not up to scratch that’s okay, you can always take some professional writing classes to get up to speed.
One reason that grammar and spelling are so important, besides having people read your posts, is because “Search Engine Optimisation” won’t work well if the writing is full of mistakes. I won’t go too much into SEO but know that editors of blogs will care a lot about this.
One way I have improved my writing has been through a tool called Grammarly. It corrects grammar and spelling and does the best job that I have seen of any other software.
If you are like me, and you like to write longer posts, then make sure you edit your writing at the end so you can remove unnecessary things that you may have written, which are not crucial to the point of your article. The last thing to be conscious of is rambling. Try as much as possible not to ramble on.
5. Have a niche with something worth saying
Editors of blogs are looking for people that have something worth saying who represent relevant niches to their site. For example, there are loads of people that write about entrepreneurship. If you are going to cover this particular topic, then you need to have something to say that may not have been said very much.
The way I do this is through my own entrepreneur story. My story is individual and hopefully captivating. It’s all about how I started a business and why I walked away from everything.
My take on entrepreneurship is heavily fused with personal development, which is very different to a lot of other bloggers.
“Think deeply about what slant you can bring to a particular niche and then communicate that as part of your proposals to editors of blogs”
6. Contact the right person from your dream website
Once you have built up some content on a blog and you feel you are ready for the big league, then its time to reach out to one or two editors from a site you dream of blogging for. The two best ways to contact an editor are through LinkedIn or using the email address provided on the blog.
The secret here is that all blogs have a contact form, but for post submissions, there is usually a different email address. Look carefully on the blog and you will find the “contributor submissions” email address. Next, follow these guidelines when reaching out:
– Write a compelling headline as the subject of your message
– Keep it brief and ideally to know more than three short paragraphs
– Mention that you are a regular reader of the site
– Link to two posts that you have done that had the most people share it
– Try to give a rough idea as to your current blogging audience
– Suggest three topics that you can write on which are categories already on the blog
If you try all of this, and you get no reply there is one other step you can take; ask another author from the same blog for advice on how to get featured on the site.
“Most bloggers are more than happy to share how they were able to become an author for a particular blog”
7. Be like a hungry dog and never give up
The more influential the blog is that you want to write for, the harder it is to get the opportunity to be featured on the site with your writing. To inspire you, I want to share the story of Addicted2Success’s very own Carla Schesser.
Carla’s dream was to write for The Huffington Post. After weeks of emailing different contacts and trying heaps of different avenues to get her foot in the door, she finally persisted through what seemed like the impossible.
It was at this point that Carla boldly emailed the Co-Founder of the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington and asked her directly if they would feature her article. Not long after, Arinna replied and said she would love to have Carla’s post on the site.
You have to be hungry like a dog, be prepared to be bold, and to try every angle. I promise you, if you try hard enough you will be able to write for any blog you can think of. Once you get featured on one major blog, it’s quite easy to get on almost any other blog that you want.
8. Don’t be a blogging prostitute
The temptation with blogging is to prostitute yourself out to every blog who will have you write for them. This strategy, in my humble opinion, doesn’t work. When your work is everywhere, you confuse your audience. People generally expect you to be known for your work on one particular site.
This doesn’t mean you can’t write for other blogs; it just means that you need to do the majority of your writing in one or two places. The downside of being a blogging prostitute is that you can upset the owners of the blog too.
When they know that you are willing to blog for anyone and that you have no loyalty what so ever, your value quickly diminishes. Again, to reiterate, I am not saying you can only ever blog for one site, just think carefully about how you go about it and try and build some loyalty with a couple of blogs.
9. Show some loyalty mate
There is an unofficial bloggers etiquette that I urge you to consider. It’s not mandatory but will help your success skyrocket if you follow it. The advice is simple; only post an article on one site. I see many bloggers taking an article and then posting it on loads of different blogs.
This is something that upsets administrators and editors of blogs, who like articles that are written for their site, to be exclusive.
10. Sit back and be patient
Building up a repertoire of blogs posts takes time. It also takes time to hone in on your writing and find a way to deliver your message uniquely. Try to write in a way that is engaging, humorous, and entertaining for the reader.
Don’t just use generic sentences with boring facts. Add some personality, push the boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say something controversial once in a while (I know I do all the time).
Success with anything in life including blogging takes time. Don’t be surprised if you are writing for a minimum of a year with no one sharing or liking your posts. Joshua Becker told me a while back that he wrote about minimalism for years before he became a world-famous blogger and author of many books.
Blogging is one of the most rewarding things I have discovered, and it is strangely therapeutic to share your thoughts with the world and inspire others at the same time. Anyone can do it, and I encourage you to have a go and see if it’s something you like.